Established in 2002, VCU Homecoming is a weeklong time-honored tradition that celebrates VCU history, basketball and school spirit. This year, Homecoming took place Nov. 6-12 and included a variety of events, unleashing the spirit of the VCU community.
“I think all of the events allowed me to really get into the VCU and Homecoming spirit, especially the parade and basketball game,” senior biology major Hailey McQuiller said. “VCU did a great job this year with events and getting people involved. All in all, Homecoming 2016 was a great ending for my last year at VCU.”
One of VCU’s Homecoming traditions is crowning a king and queen who represent VCU for the rest of the academic year. This year, the winners of the crown were Adonis Fisher for king and Jennifer Osaki for queen.
When asked for his reasoning for running, Fisher, a senior Business Marketing and Business Administration and Management major, said, “with this special chance (to run for king), I felt that I could not only be able to help, but also inspire others to look at the University in the same light that I see it. The pride, enthusiasm and passion that I have for my school is incomparable and I was happy to be able to make it known.”
Osaki, a senior Graphic Design major, agreed with Fisher on being an agent of change for the University.
“Running (for court) is a very gratifying experience because you get to see a part of VCU that not everyone gets to see. You have a huge sense of pride and love for this University and it helps you think about the things you want to fix and how you want to be the agents of change for it,” Osaki said.
In addition to upholding the tradition of crowning a king and queen, this year’s Homecoming had no short supply of events that provided an avenue for all members of the VCU community to unleash their Ram Pride.
Athletics, Entertainment and Traditions
Events began on Sunday, Nov. 6 with Rectacular Spectacular. Held on the Cary St. Field, Rectacular Spectacular was a fun-filled event comprised of many fun activities for students and staff, including a 3v3 basketball tournament, staff vs. student flag football game and moon bounces.
Following Rectacular Spectacular was the Reign of the Rams Pageant, in which the VCU community was introduced to VCU’s homecoming court for the first time. The candidates for king and queen participated in a lip-sync battle with the help of their respective organizations. The contestants were judged and points were awarded towards the homecoming crown to the winners. There were also performances by the underclassmen court.
“I went to support my sister, Larissa Gregory, who was running for Homecoming duchess, but I ended up staying for the entire show because it was really entertaining and I had a lot of fun. The lip-syncs were great,” sophomore Radiation Science major Leasette Gregory said.
Ram Rally, a pep rally held to motivate the VCU community for Homecoming, was held at the Siegel Center and featured a variety of events including introducing members of the court, carnival games and a preview for Fall Block. Organizations such as VCU’s cheerleading team, VCU’s marching band, the Peppas and the VCU Gold Rush dance team all performed at the Ram Rally.
“I really enjoyed all of the events that I attended. It got me really into the VCU Homecoming spirit. My favorite part was during the Ram Rally when we got caricatures and Ram balloon headbands,” Katlyn Pierre, senior Public Relations major, said.
RamFest, VCU’s annual Homecoming concert, was held in the Altria Theater with performing artists Masego, GoldLink and Travis Scott. The entire show had the crowd on their feet dancing and singing along.
“I camped out outside of the Altria Theater at 3 a.m. just to get tickets for the concert so, suffice to say, I was pretty excited. The concert definitely reached my expectations. I was less than one foot away from Travis Scott and it was wild,” sophomore Fashion Design and Merchandising major Alex Morales said.
The winners for the sophomore and junior class were announced at Ramfest. Sam Ahmed and Nile Richardson were crowned Homecoming duke and duchess and Shawn Stuckey and Kayla Watkins were crowned Homecoming prince and princess. At a previous date, Nia Tariq and Spencer Vincent were crowned homecoming lord and lady.
Sophomore nursing major Larissa Gregory, who ran for duchess, said, “Being on (the Altria) stage was nerve-wracking until I realized that I couldn’t actually see the audience. (…) But, overall, it was a great experience that allowed me of have my 15 minutes of fame.”
The Homecoming Parade kicked off at the W.E. Singleton Center and headed up Harrison St. then looped around Broad St. to end at the Siegel Center. The streets were closed to accommodate the festivities and the many student organizations showing off their Ram Pride, including VCU’s own marching band, the Peppas.
The Homecoming Tailgate began following the Homecoming parade. The festivities included student organization tabling, live music and food voucher for food trucks, as well as a guest appearance from the Virginia Lottery that included a chance to win free scratch tickets.
“I think (Homecoming) was a great way to finish up my VCU experience, considering I’m graduating this December. Overall, I love VCU and Homecoming 2016 here was a great way for me to say goodbye to my home for the last three and a half years,” Pierre said.